By Mansour Salsabili, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
Ambiguity in Iran's weapon acquisition dynamics exacerbates mistrust, which is the core reason for the present standoff at the negotiating table. This paper elucidates the Iranian military's capability and intention by delving into the main componential elements of weapon acquisition.
"Perceptions and Narratives of Security: The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Iran-Iraq War"
By Annie Tracy Samuel, Research Fellow, International Security Program
This paper explores the importance of the Iran-Iraq War for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) by analyzing how the Guards have used the war to present their positions on Iran's national security.
By Ethan Corbin, Research Fellow, International Security Program
This paper examines the state of Syria's regional armed group allies today in the face of Syrian decline.
"U.S. Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe after NATO's Lisbon Summit: Why Their Withdrawal Is Desirable and Feasible"
By Tom Sauer, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 1997-1999 and Bob van der Zwaan, Former Research Associate, Energy Technology Innovation research group/Project on Managing the Atom Project/Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, 2001–2005
This paper describes how, over the past two decades, the usefulness of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons that are forward-deployed in Europe has gradually declined, and it explains the logic behind their decreased importance.
By Debra K. Decker, Former Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2006–2011
Nuclear forensics and attribution are the new "deterrence" concepts against illicit use of fissile material. Although the science is being developed, the required systems of policies and processes have not been fully analyzed. This paper attempts to show how nuclear attribution can advance from theory to practice by establishing multilaterally coordinated policies and procedures and by replicating systems that have worked in other disciplines.
An increasing amount of development aid is targeted to areas affected by civil conflict; some of it in the hope that aid will reduce conflict by weakening popular support for insurgent movements. But if insurgents know that development projects will weaken their position, they have an incentive to derail them, which may exacerbate conflict.
By David Ekbladh, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2009–2010
With the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the "War on Terror" that followed, development aid was shoved back into the spotlight. Many ideas and institutions that had lain dormant in international affairs, insinuated their return into U.S. strategy and the agenda of the international community. "Nation building" in Afghanistan and Iraq along with a hope that development would stifle the appeal of extremist ideologies and the movements that they stirred has returned development to a prominent place in U.S. grand strategy.
By Matthew Fuhrmann, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, January–August 2009; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2008–December 2009 and Sarah Kreps, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2007–2008
When do states attack or consider attacking nuclear infrastructure in nonnuclear weapons states? Despite the importance of this question, relatively few scholarly articles have attempted to identify the factors that lead a state to attack another state's nuclear facilities. This paper conducts the first large-n analysis on when states use force as a way to control proliferation.
This paper challenges existing arguments that states are deterred from attacking nuclear programs by the prospect of a military retaliation from the proliferating state or concerns about international condemnation. Instead, it finds that states are more likely to attack nuclear programs when they believe that the proliferating state might use nuclear weapons or engage in other offensive behavior. States are willing to accept substantial costs in attacking if they believe that a particular country's acquisition of nuclear weapons poses a significant threat to their security.
By Azeem Ibrahim, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2008–2010
The United States must not provide Pakistani institutions with incentives to act counter to U.S. foreign policy objectives in the future. It has done so in the past. But until the spring of 2009, no comprehensive overview of the full funding to Pakistan was possible as the figures were kept secret. Those figures, as well as a full analysis of what is known about how they were spent, can now be evaluated. The available information paints a picture of a systemic lack of supervision in the provision of aid to Pakistan, often lax U.S. oversight, and the incentivization of U.S. taxpayer–funded corruption in the Pakistani military and security services. The author believes that this is the first attempt to present an overview of U.S. aid to Pakistan since 2001, evaluate it, and present recommendations on how to ensure that mistakes are not repeated and lessons are learned.
This paper presents a preliminary experiment designed to determine whether costly signaling plays a role in political interactions. Drawing on the expansive signaling literature in international relations and elsewhere, we propose that the quality of solicitation materials matters because voters respond to costly signals from candidates as a shortcut for determining both a candidate’s investment in their own campaign and the degree of commitment from other voters to that candidate’s cause.